Major U.S. life and annuity insurance companies are endangering their policyholders’ benefits with risky investments that trade client security for bigger payouts for executives and shareholders.

Some of Wall Street’s biggest firms are using accounting gimmicks in life insurance companies to bolster their profits by overvaluing their assets and holding risky investments in secrecy jurisdictions, according to government watchdogs, trade unions and financial regulatory experts.

An FDA investigation that linked a rise in a potentially fatal heart disease in dogs to grain-free pet food relied, at the start, on data provided by veterinarians with financial and other ties to dog food brands that dominate the market for traditional, grain-based pet foods.

German engineering giant Siemens ignored some of its own red flags for foreign bribery in the aftermath of a major corruption scandal in 2008, according to newly released reports by an independent monitor and other confidential documents.

As the coronavirus pandemic threatened to overwhelm Chinese hospitals last year, Chinese resellers appear to have colluded to inflate the prices of ventilators and other essential medical equipment from multinational companies including Siemens, GE, and Philips, according to a review of recent public records on the sale of medical equipment in China.

From playing politics with the delivery of food relief to corruption in distribution chains, lack of food loomed as a major threat for many in Africa alongside the coronavirus.

Over the last year of the pandemic, historically underfunded health systems in parts of Africa stretched to the breaking point under the strain. In many cases, frontline health workers lacked adequate protective equipment for much of the pandemic, putting their lives and families at risk. They faced long hours–with some working 14 days straight–without insurance or employment benefits. When they did contract Covid-19, healthcare workers complained, they were left to fend for themselves, in the absence of dedicated facilities for their treatment.

First of three parts: The coronavirus pandemic, slowly beginning to lift, laid bare how normal violence by security forces has become in parts of Africa. Reports from four countries–South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda–found deeply-rooted problems of corruption and brutality flourished amid the pandemic.